"Affluenza" teen story

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Kizmet, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I have resisted creating a thread on this topic but then I decided, Oh what the hell..." because it doesn't seem like it's going to go away in a big hurry. Partly I'm interested in it just as a social phenomenon but partly I want to "reality test" myself. So...
    is it just me or is it completely crazy that this kid never went to jail in the first place?
  2. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I'm not a fan of ruining the lives of young people, generally. It's one of the reasons I admire penal systems like those of Norway; treating prisoners with respect, no life sentences and a focus on eventually reintegrating people back into society.

    Do I think that sending this kid to a big boy prison would have set him straight? No. I think that our prisons take non-violent offenders and, if anything, turn them into more hardened criminals. You take a kid who drinks and parties and throw him in a jail, where he has to fear for his life, and he doesn't come out more responsible. He comes out having learned how to be a bigger, badder criminal from the true professionals.

    So that's my problem with the institution of crime and punishment in this country. But none of that changes the fact that when you kill four people and permanently disable another you need to be punished. And that punishment needs to be harsh enough to adequately convey to you the seriousness of your offenses.

    No, I wouldn't be happy of Ethan Couch had been sentenced to spend the bulk of his life in prison. In an ideal world, he would be rehabilitated into a responsible adult who appreciated the gravity of his crimes over the course of a number of years. In our not-so-ideal world, he should have done some time. I don't know what a "good" amount of time would be. But the slap on the wrist he received was not a good idea.

    Not because it didn't give the victims families a sense of closure. No, this was a bad idea because it told him that he can literally kill people without any significant consequence. So how seriously can we expect him to take a parole violation?

    The tragedy is that this kid is like a young Robert Durst. Eventually he'll self-destruct. But, because it wasn't addressed early on, he will leave a trail of destruction in his wake and even more innocent people are likely to be harmed.
  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2016
  4. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    If I helped a prisoner escape to Mexico, I would go to jail. I would (hopefully) be aware of that fact before I ever withdrew the $30k from my bank account (seriously?).

    But considering this woman got to jail and promptly began complaining about the accommodations, I suspect she needs a healthy dose of reality as well.

    Yeah, in a good and civilized society she'd go to a place with lots of support where she would learn to be accountable for her actions. But we don't have that. We have sucky jail complete with sucky food and daily ass kickings. And if you break the law, particularly when you break it with such wanton disregard as she did, you should go there for a while to consider how better you could have utilized your freedom.
  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Maybe she can correspond with Martha Stewart.:lmao:
  6. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Martha really disappointed me when she didn't release a "Better Prison Living" sort of book.

    I want Martha's recipe for a toilet bowl chardonnay. I want to know how she would make a shiv that was both functional and stylish. I want to hear Martha Stewart's opinions on the finer points of smuggling candle rings into prison via your butt.

    She would have instantly won points with the public for poking fun at herself. She would have made a small fortune (to augment her large fortune) and she would have taken the wind out of the sails of every late night TV show mocking her.
  7. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Martha went to the cushiest of prisons, a Federal minimum security "Club Fed" facility.
  8. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    That's one of the reasons why said book would have been hilarious.
  9. back2thebooks

    back2thebooks New Member

    I believe this kid's mother has failed him miserably! I think he knows the difference between right and wrong; however, he has never received any consequences for doing anything wrong. His mother was asked how many times has she had to punish him and she said she has never had to. Loving your child is not allowing them to run rampant without consequence.

    A mother in a strip club with her teenage son!? Really!

    I do think it says a lot that the father is staying out of it.......I wonder if he has tried to be the voice of reason to her and him (mother and son). Just my opinion.
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  11. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  12. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  13. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  14. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty surprised that the news is following the kid this closely. Regardless of the outcome in court, the maximum sentence he will receive is 6 months.

    Don't worry, he'll screw up again and end up serving longer. But that will be the next time. For this set of screw ups, he's only facing six months. But the media is painting it like what's coming is the trial of the century or that somehow justice will be served.

    It won't.

    Because the kid killed four people and permanently disabled another. And he will get a max of six months in prison.
  15. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Wow! I am no legal expert, but I imagine the families of the victims must be pretty outraged. Four people killed, and another in a wheel chair = six months?
  16. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    It's worse than that.

    Four people killed and another in a wheelchair = 10 years probation
    Alcohol related probation violations = 6 months
  17. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

  18. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    I'll never understand why you can kill someone with a car, and receive a slap on the wrist, but kill the same person with a knife, hammer, or gun, and suddenly it's a serious crime. They're just as dead from the car as the gun.
  19. Davewill

    Davewill Member

    Intent. If you run down someone on purpose, it IS a serious crime. Conversely, many, many people kill or injure others in accidental shootings and they aren't even arrested or charged. There's a guy over on Dailykos who writes a series called Gunfail that has no problem finding dozens of such per WEEK...and there's always a bunch of dead kids in the list. :banghead:
  20. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    If you hop into a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds under the influence of a drug (alcohol is a drug), you may not have the intent to kill someone, but you do have a gross disregard for other's lives. It's negligence, and the intoxication manslaughter convictions should come with the same consequences as other manslaughter convictions.

    This judge who gave this kid a slap on the wrist was the same judge who gave a 14 year old, poor, black boy years in prison for punching someone, which led to the person's death. I'm sure he didn't intend for that person to hit his head on the ground so hard that he ended up dying, but he got a much harsher sentence than a well-to-do white boy who had a history of engaging in criminal activities, killed four people, and seriously injured two people while being a minor under the influence of alcohol and Valium. His BAC was three times the legal limit, and he had just stolen beer before he slaughtered those people.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2016

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